Confess and pray

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. James 4.16

It is not true that after you become a Christian that you will never sin. You will. You try your best not to. You are vigilant and alert. However, the devil is constantly on the lookout for a way to make you fall. Many times, when you least expect it, it happens. You do, say, or think something that you should not.

The important thing is not to keep repeating the same sin over and over, returning to our former way of life. Hebrews 12.1 tells us to get rid of every weight and sin that clings so closely and run the race focusing on Jesus. If we confess to another Christian the sin that clings to us, we can receive help in our healing through their prayers on our behalf. Knowing that someone is praying for us to overcome sin and being accountable to them is a powerful tool and can help us to heal.

The prayers of the righteous person are powerful.

#risingjoy #devotional #confession

No such thing as a secret Christian

Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him. … Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so they would not be put out of the synagogue” John 12:37-42.

It’s towards the end of Jesus’ three-year ministry, and His hard teachings are separating those who want their heads and hearts full and not just their mouths and bellies. Even though He had proved to them in a variety of ways—even raising a dead man—they still did not believe in Him.

Here, ‘believe’ is used in its truest sense that requires action. If you believe that a truck is going to hit you, you get off the road! The actions because of true belief are outlined in scripture, publicly confessing Jesus as Lord being one of them.

There is no such thing as a secret Christian. A few verses later, after Isaiah shows that true belief requires the actions of an understanding of the heart and a turning from sin, certain authorities who loved the glory of men more are said to believe on a level in which they would not confess Jesus for fear of repercussions. More than just words, they wouldn’t let Jesus be their Lord.

Have you confessed Jesus?

Doug Kashorek

#dougkashorek #devotional #confession

Not often practiced

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. James 5.16

Confession of sins is not practiced often where we live though I am not exactly sure why that is so. Perhaps it is seen as a negative thing, showing weakness. Yet James seems to indicate that it should be an ongoing activity. Perhaps we do not provide an appropriate time where it can be done in love and not in judgment.

What are the advantages of confessing your sins? It opens others’ eyes to the sins with which you are struggling. If people are aware of my struggles, they are better equipped to pray for me and encourage me. Instead of continuing to fight the battle alone, the prayers of others can help me heal. It can also serve as an encouragement to the one who is fighting that same battle and thought that they were alone in their struggle.

James 3.2 says that we all stumble in many ways. He is speaking to teachers, but the principle would apply to all. When you think about it, we should all be teaching on some level. So often our tongue is where we stumble! We say things we should not say. Or we do not say things that we should say! Isn’t it a comfort to know that the prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness? Another translation of the verse is that the fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. May we learn to take advantage of the prayers of others that brings healing.

#risingjoy #James #confession

Hide your face: Psalm 51.9

“Hide your face from my sins! Wipe away all my guilt!”

Psalm 51.9

King David repented of his sin. That repentance — and not sinlessness — earned him the title of being a man after God’s own heart. Sin against God can only be forgiven by God. Confession lays one’s sins before the Lord in hope of forgiveness.

Through Christ, what are the two processes to find forgiveness for the one outside of Christ and the disciple who follows the Lord?

#forgiveness #repentance #confession #VOTD


11-14-2017         “Faith Only” Doesn’t Confess Christ

John 12:42-43: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” “Many” “rulers” among the Jews “believed in” Jesus as the Christ, but “did not confess Him,” though Jesus made it clear about confession. “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9 NKJV). Faith only, without confession, receives “the praise of men,” but not the “praise of God.” It’s pitiful to see people whose faith does not obey.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#believe, #confession, #faith-only

Who comes into the world: John 11.27 VOTD

“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world.”

John 11.27

Mary answered the Lord Jesus in this way after he asked if she believed that he was the resurrection and the life. It demonstrates great understanding of Jesus’ identity and mission. John records her confession as a beautiful example of people coming to faith.

How does Jesus’ “coming into the world” (his incarnation) fit into the gospel story? Is it a part of the gospel? What about those who say that only Christ’s death, burial, resurrection are the basic facts of the gospel?

#confession #incarnation #VOTD

VOTD: Matthew 16.15 ‘You say’

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?'”

Matthew 16.15

This question of the Lord brought out Peter’s greater confession of Christ.

Why is it important for us to answer this question today?

#Christ #confession #VOTD

August 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Foundational Principles)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Jesus, Our Saviour (Cody Westbrook)
  • Hear Sam (Willcut)
  • Believe (Mike Vestal)
  • Repent (Mike Bonner)
  • Confession of Faith (Jerrod “Boogie” Doss)
  • Baptism (Robert Jefferies)
  • Living a Faithful, Growing, Godly Life (Rob L. Whitacre)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#basic-principles-of-the-gospel, #christian-growth, #christian-worker, #confessing-our-faith, #confession, #hearing-the-gospel, #how-to-become-a-christian, #jesus-christ, #jesus-our-savior, #necessity-of-faith, #purpose-of-water-baptism, #repentance

The Bible says “with the heart one believes…

The Bible says, “with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That is two things, not one. The first is made with the heart and the second is made with the mouth. Where does that leave the “faith only” folks? It leaves them begging. The next verse continues, “for the scriptures says, whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” In other words, believing involves more than one’s mental or heart choice, it also involves confessing. Confession is part of “believe and you will be saved.” But not only that, a verse or two later, we learn “calling on the Lord” is also involved. Thus, faith involves more than just “faith alone”; it involves actions that must follow is salvation is to be realized. This is Just-A-Minute.

#confession, #faith-only, #just-a-minute

The apostle Paul wrote “with the mouth confession…

The apostle Paul wrote, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Was Paul right or are “faith only” folks right? They can’t be both right! How so? The “faith onlys” say that one is saved at the moment you believe; that is before one has confessed his faith. But the apostle says confession is still “unto” or “towards” salvation. Furthermore, a few verses later, Paul mentions, “they have not all obeyed the gospel.” In another place he said that God will punish those “who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel”. Where does this leave the “faith onlys”? It leaves them wanting! If God is going to punish those who obey not the gospel, then I choose to “confess unto salvation” and “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”. It may not be the most popular, but it is the most sure. This is Just-A-Minute.

#confession, #faith-only, #just-a-minute, #obey

Many people who plan to be saved at…

Many people who plan to be saved at the eleventh hour, die at 10:30. It is true, there are many who plan to sin until time to die then cry softly and with feeling, “Lord, Lord, save me!” But if you read Matt. 7:21, you will find the Lord saying, “Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Do you know where to find the will of God? In the Word of God! How long has it been since you read the New Testament? How long has it been since you read it to take a spiritual inventory, to see if what you have done and are doing to please God is in the Bible? This is Just-a-Minute

#confession, #just-a-minute

I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that

The scripture for today, April 23, is Mark 4:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Some of us read a passage in the Bible and say, “I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that.” We just don’t want to hear it.

It’s hard to admit we are wrong, isn’t it? It’s human nature. And in the realm of religion, it is even harder because we’re talking about our eternal soul. So reading that we’re supposed to be doing or not doing something that we’ve never followed before is like being on a bridge over a roaring river, and suddenly realizing the bridge is breaking and we are not as safe as we thought we were. Let us take our human egos out of the way. Continue reading

#confession, #obedience, #repentance

The Lord isn’t looking for an excuse, He’s waiting for a confession

Often times, in relation to the sins that we commit, it is easy to find ourselves offering an excuse, or even rationalizing the sins that we have committed against God, our self and others. But the Lord isn’t looking for an excuse, an explanation or a personal justification when it comes to our sin. He’s waiting for a confession. There’s nothing that we can add that He doesn’t already know. There’s nothing that we can diminish that He won’t be aware of. To be made clean – we must come clean.

As one surveys the word of God there are individuals who stand out Goliath-high amongst the rest. At the risk of leaving many people out, there is, not specifically in order, Seth, Enoch, Job, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Amran, Jochebed, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Samson, Samuel, Nathan, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Nehemiah, Zacharias, Elizabeth, John the Baptizer, Joseph, Mary, Simeon, Anna, Peter, James, John, Thomas, Paul, and Apollos. And in the words of Hebrews 11:32, time would fail me to mention the names of others who are worthy of such consideration. And what causes these individuals to stand out amongst all of the people that we read about in the Bible? It wasn’t because they were perfect! It was because they were willing to confess their imperfections – they were aware of their own sinful shortcomings in the face of a righteous and eternal God.

Being human isn’t necessarily an excuse for the wrongs that we commit, but thanks be to God for His mindfulness of our human frailties. And with that thought in mind, when it comes to confessing our sin, what are waiting for?

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 18:9-14)

Related Article:

#confession, #excuses, #forgiveness-of-sin, #sin

Confession is good for the soul…

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. (John 12:42-43)

The words in bold above are thirteen of the most haunting words of Scripture, in my opinion. These men refused to do what they knew was right because they wanted to maintain high status at their local congregation. Sometimes we ourselves are tempted to allow worldly values to corrupt the purity of the gospel; other times we fail to defend the bride of Christ when people slander her; still other times we fail to speak up in the name of Jesus when we know what we ought to say. This we do because we are ashamed. We put stock in the opinions of other people, and we are afraid we will lose rank in their eyes if we express our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we do not confess what we know to be the truth. God have mercy upon us!

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

God, help those of us with genuine faith in Jesus Christ to find ways as often as possible to share the gospel, defend the Lord’s church, and resist the devil’s attempts to water down her doctrine with ungodly cultural values. We care not what man thinks of us–only You, our God.

#approval-of-god, #approval-of-men, #ashamed, #confession, #jesus-christ, #pharisee

Where Do We Go to Heal?

My journey of faith began in a family of faith and a family of worshipers (the Bible often calls the church a “household” or “family.”). My parents loved God and made assembling with other lovers of God a priority for us. They reminded us often that it was a privilege to assemble with other Christians, that in some nations it was definitely not a right to do so. While I have discovered that some communities of faith may be more toxic than healing, healthy faith develops best in community. There are times when we may need to go alone in prayer to express our pain and hurt to the Lord, but sometimes the occasions when we hurt the most are when the church that we thought didn’t care awakens to its responsibilities. Singing with a congregation, even listening if the pain is too great to sing or the song evokes particularly emotional memories, allows other believers to speak words of grace and love. Even when one’s presence challenges others to forgive or consider whether they should allow you to participate, growth in relationship to God and his people occurs. We all sin (Romans 3:23). We all need forgiveness. Assembling together allows others to bear one another’s burden (Galatians 6:1-2) and remember that being a part of Christ’s saved people is not an exercise in isolation nor about feeling good all the time about other Christians. Romans 15:1-3 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'” We worship together to praise God, but also meet together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). We should not gather as a church to hear a speaker verbally scourge the suffering, but we should search the scriptures together and pray fervently that we may help the damaged person heal and return to active service. If a person’s (or group’s) presence threatens the spiritual stability of the congregation, then we meet and discuss face-to-face how their actions endanger the health of the community while remembering to check our preferences to see if they align with the word and will of God.

Because my parents encouraged me to make assembling with Christians a priority, when I encountered a difficult time in my life when it would have been easy to suffer alone and stop “going to church,” I kept going. I found it hard to pray at that point in my life and it was difficult to sing some songs. Some sermons were harder to hear and some well-meaning brethren just did not understand what I was experiencing. Still I kept assembling and I continued to read the Bible regularly (Strange, I think, that I found it hard to talk to God for a while but still was willing to listen to him). The small congregation embraced me and helped me to heal, using me when I was willing and my work would help others. Some told me that my presence encouraged them. I survived spiritually because that church and my family of origin loved me.

Some hurting people have hurt themselves, and as part of the healing process, must realize and articulate the part they played in creating their pain. We call this repentance and confession; both acts are essential for spiritual healing. If they have never done so before, they will need (as did the apostle Paul) to wash away their sin in baptism (Acts 22:16). Some may be unable to reverse the effects of their actions; just as a physical amputee learns to function without a hand or with a prosthesis, they can learn to function in their new reality. Other hurting people have been abused – verbally, physically, or emotionally. They don’t need more abuse. They need love, and lots of patience.

So, if you’re hurting spiritually, don’t try to solve your problems in isolation. Reach out for help to a community of faith, a church that takes God, Christ, and the Bible seriously, but that remembers also that it is the family of God and the body of Christ, an entity that heals rather harms. If you’re within such a group, and someone confesses difficulty, pain, or sin, don’t rush to ostracize. Pray and study to learn how you may help this person to heal and to grow up to become the healthy disciple God wants them to be. As Paul the apostle wrote, ” Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). In the end, we all have fallen short, and that is why we need a family, a church, where we may heal and feel safe.

#abuse, #baptism, #church-of-christ, #confession, #encouragement, #family-of-god, #forgiveness, #healing, #recovery, #repentance, #toxic-churches